Friday, 26 March 2021

26 March 2021 Edurio publishes report on staff retention in academies

Edurio has published a report on staff retention in academies, based on their 'Staff well-being and working conditions' survey

The main conclusions are

- School leaders should evaluate both working conditions and relationships within their schools, as both areas have a strong link with staff retention

- In order to reduce staff workload, most gains can be found in reducing marking and assessment as well as data input and administrative tasks

- There needs to be a strong focus on building a culture of engagement for staff members, where their feedback is heard and seen to be taken into account

- Multi-academy trust leadership teams need to adapt interventions for the different conditions in each of their schools - a 'one-size-fits-all' solution for all schools in a trust is unlikely to help them retain staff

- Communication emerged as a key concern, with 11% of staff mentioning it as an area for improvement

Friday, 19 March 2021

19 March 2021 Full Ofsted inspections not to return until September

The chief inspector of schools has announced that full graded Ofsted inspections will not return until September

Speaking at the Association of School and College Leaders virtual conference, Amanda Spielman said that Ofsted was discussing 'a sensible and proportionate next step before returning to our normal inspection programme in the autumn'

She went on to say that the current Education Inspection Framework is 'quite flexible for the situation we are in now with exams cancelled'  However, she admitted that there would be need for flexibility and transitional arrangements when inspections return

Friday, 12 March 2021

12 March 2021 HMCI says that Ofsted recognises the relative strength of schools in poorer areas by rating leadership more highly

Speaking at the Northern Powerhouse Partnership's Education Summit on Wednesday, the chief inspector of schools, Amanda Spielman, says that Ofsted recognises the relative strength of schools in poorer areas by rating leadership more highly

She said that Ofsted has looked at the judgement profiles for schools with various levels of disadvantaged intakes, finding that the overall effectiveness judgements are on average lower for the most disadvantaged schools

But she went on to say that, compared with more advantaged schools, disadvantaged schools are quite a lot more likely to have Ofsted rate their leadership and management more highly than overall effectiveness - that shows how their relative strength is recognised in more difficult circumstances

The chief inspector warned that there is a 'deep and difficult tension between judging schools in terms of the experience children get and how well schools are doing with the hand they've been dealt'

She believes that whilst parents are interested in overall judgements, decisions about school interventions should be based on schools' relative performance which is reflected in the leadership and management judgement

Friday, 5 March 2021

5 March 2021 Education secretary says that the government is 'looking at' how to get more schools into MATs

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has said that the government would like to see 'far more schools' in multi-academy trusts by 2025 and is actively looking at 'how we can make that happen'

He told the Foundation for Education Development summit on 1 March that partnerships between schools were fundamental, especially in the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic

The government has previously used growth funding (such as the Trust Capacity Fund) to encourage more academies to be part of larger trusts

Mr Williamson told the summit that schools 'benefit from being in a strong family.  In other words, a multi-academy trust'

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

24 February 2021 Ofsted publishes research on the education of pupils living in children's home

Ofsted has published research on the range and quality of the education of pupils living in children's homes; the research was conducted across a sample of 2600 children living in 815 children's homes between April 2018 and March 2019

The key findings are

- Children's home residents are less likely to attend good or outstanding schools

- Around 9% of children in the sample attended unregulated provision

- Children living in children's homes were 18 times more likely to attend a pupil referral unit than all pupils attending state-funded provision nationally

- They were also 20 times more likely to attend special schools than all children nationally

Thursday, 11 February 2021

11 February 2021 77 schools selected to run new teaching school hubs

77 schools have been selected to run 81 new teaching school hubs across England, with £65million of funding from the government.  It takes the total number of hubs to 87, with six initial hubs being announced last year

Teaching school hubs will provide professional development for teachers and leaders, as well as supporting trainee teachers.  They will help to deliver the new early career framework of support for new teachers and provide national professional qualifications and initial teacher training

Each of the 81 new hubs will have its own geographical area and begin operating in September.  Four schools have been given funding for two geographical areas, with the remaining 73 running one

Friday, 5 February 2021

5 February 2021 Government launches first phase of school rebuilding programme

The government has launched the first phase of its ten-year school rebuilding programme, with 50 projects being announced

The programme is due to deliver 500 projects over the next decade; the schools include primary, secondary and special ones as well as a sixth form college in West Yorkshire; more than 70% of the schools are in the North and the Midlands

Construction will begin on the first projects from Autumn 2021, with the majority of them being completed within three to five years

The projects will range from replacing or refurbishing individual buildings through to whole school rebuilds; the DfE plans to consult this year on how schools are prioritised for future rounds of the programme 

Additionally, 21 free schools have been announced as part of wave 14; ten are in some of the most deprived areas and three in opportunity areas

More than £10million will also be invested to support school sports and swimming facilities in England, and will be distributed through Sport England